Lecture – “Sea Otter Stories – history, ecology & conservation” 

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Lecture – “Sea Otter Stories – history, ecology & conservation” 

Sunday, December 10, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
*To keep this series accessible to all, regardless of the ability to pay, there is no set charge for the event; however, donations are always welcomed and appreciated.

“Sea Otter Stories – history, ecology & conservation”

James Bodkin
U.S. Geological Survey

Over the course of about 250 years, beginning about 1750, perhaps a million sea otters were harvested for their fur throughout their range. When the harvest ended 13 small populations remained, all but one along their northern range. Today more than 150,000 sea otters occupy more than half their original range. Other sea otter stories Jim will tell include their relation to the locally abundant river otter, their ecology, predators and other research on sea otters in the wild.

Jim was a research biologist and leader for coastal marine ecosystems research in Alaska until his retirement in 2013 and remains a scientist emeritus with the US Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center. He received degrees in biological science from Long Beach State University and California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CA. Jim has been studying sea otters and coastal marine ecosystems since 1977 between Russia and Southern California and has published more than 150 peer reviewed manuscripts. Jim currently operates a small biological consulting firm and conducts long term monitoring of coastal marine food webs in the Gulf of Alaska and serves as an advisor to the Sea Otter Foundation and Trust and the Elakha Alliance.


CHECK OUT INTERVIEWS with James Bodkin on the KPTZ’s 91.9 Nature Now podcast:

The Biology of Sea Otters (Part 1)

The Biology of Sea Otters (Part 2)

Sea Otters of the Washington Coast (Part 1)

Sea Otters of the Washington Coast (Part 2)


Our lecture series, The Future of Oceans, draws on the commitment of professional researchers and educators across all academic spectrums to help define and inspire the health of our oceans.

To see the full lecture series for 2023-2024, visit our Lectures page.

Thanks to the Darrow Family for their ongoing support.


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